The Perfect Staycation

The Ultimate Beginners Survival Guide To Wild Camping

Wild, free and connected to nature. It sounds like the perfect getaway adventure, right? Whilst this is the case for most, for a first-timer the sheer thought of wild camping can be a little daunting…
We have teamed up with plant-protein brand TREK to give you the ultimate survival guide and get you stocked up on wild camping essentials

Wild, free and connected to nature. It sounds like the perfect getaway adventure, right? Whilst this is the case for most, for a first-timer the sheer thought of wild camping can be a little daunting…

But fear not friends, to give you the ultimate survival guide and get you stocked up on wild camping essentials we have teamed up with leading plant-protein brand TREK this summer to run an exciting on-pack competition, giving you the chance to win up to £500 in Decathlon vouchers. Simply head into any TREK-stocked store and pick up your favourite pack of promotional TREK bars to enter!

But before you get stocked up, let's address the basics…

What is Wild camping? 

Wild camping is camping somewhere that is not a designated campsite. Some choose wild camping to break up a longer multi-day hike, or simply to be closer to nature and the freedom of staying in locations off the beaten track. Whatever your reason for wild camping, to have the best experience possible you need to be equipt so that even the most British of weathers doesn’t dampen your time. 

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Camping Checklist

It’s best to take the essentials to ensure you’re prepared for all that wild camping can throw at you. Here are our top camping essentials which be found in your nearest Decathlon store:

Comfy walking boots & socks
Make sure your boots are well-fitted and broken in. The last thing you want is blisters joining you on your journey, so ensuring you’ve got the correct footwear and comfy socks is crucial to protect and prevent damage or injuries to your feet.

Warm breathable fleece
Make sure you pick a lightweight, breathable fleece that can keep you warm both throughout the chilly nights and during your adventures.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
The UK weather is always unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for all eventualities, including torrential rain!

Hats & gloves
For both warm and cold weather. Again, with the unpredictable UK weather it is best to have both options for protection and warmth.

Camping mat
As wild camping spots aren’t on designated campsites it means that you’re relying on untouched land to rest on. Having a camping mat offers extra comfort if you find yourself on slightly rougher terrain.

Sleeping bag
A good night's sleep sets the tone for your trip. So having a warm and comfortable sleeping bag is very important. With so many shapes and sizes it’s best to try before you buy!

Tent or Bivvy Bag
See our Shelter section bellow bfor the 2 options available when wild camping.
Something small, compact and easy to set up! The last thing you want to be doing is rummaging around in the dark for a stove which is in a million pieces. Selecting an easy to assemble stove will save you plenty of time and effort.

See our Food & Drink section bellow for the full low down on what to take. 

Ideally high in protein like TREK Protein Power bars, or Trek’s Protein Flapjacks, their slow-release oats make them the perfect hiking snack, not to mention that they’re 100% plant-based!

Head torch
Because no one wants to be caught in the dark.

First aid kit & multi-tool
Emergencies do happen and having an in date first-aid kit and well equipt muti-tools is essential for any trip.

Water bottle & water purification
Access to fresh water and facilities is often limited when wild camping so having a water bottle and water purification kits can help keep you hydrated and get water safe for drinking.

Maps & compass
If the challenge of orienteering is your thing then you’ll know that having these by your side is crucial to your navigation. Being rural doesn't always mean being disconnected from the digital world, however, there are times when there isn’t a signal or an “oops page not found”, so a trusty map and compass will see you through.

Insect repellent & sun cream
Being out in the elements means you need to be protected. Sun cream is a must when outside despite the weather and although it’s their outdoors too, keeping those bugs and nasties at bay will help you enjoy your adventure.

Ensuring you have a comfy well-fitted rucksack for all equipment is essential. You don't want to be uncomfortable on your journey or you might miss out on getting to the best spots.

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Where can I wild camp?

Generally speaking, it is illegal to wild camp in the UK, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, there are some exceptions such as Dartmoor National Park, Brecon Beacons National Park, or simply contacting the landowners to request permission to camp. You can also camp anywhere in Scotland…including in their breath-taking national parks!
Whether you have to request permission to wild camp or not, you must always respect the land, avoid staying more than one night, and most importantly, LEAVE NO TRACE! This means no rubbish, no fires, and no damage to the land, it should be left exactly as it was found.


When it comes to shelter and sleeping there are two options when wild camping. The first option and we’d suggest this option for a first-timer, is to use a tent. The tent should preferably be small, lightweight and most importantly, robust. Ideally, it will match the surroundings, because having a tent which matches the surroundings will not only be more appealing to passers-by but will also help reduce your visibility, increasing your chances of an undisturbed stay. Using a tent seems to be the preferred method when wild camping for the first time as it’s a familiar creature comfort and adds that extra shelter.

The second option is using a Bivvy Bag. If you’re a thrill seeker and like to immerse yourself into your surroundings then this is for you! A Bivvy bag is essentially a waterproof sleeping bag that protect you from the elements, allowing you to quite literally sleep under the stars. Connecting you to nature and truly plunging you into wild camping this is most certainly a recommendation you must try. There is no better feeling than falling asleep under the stars and waking up to the most glorious sunrises. Who knows, you may even have a friendly neighbour or two to start your day. “baaa!”

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Food & Drink 

Keeping meals simple, nutritious and full of vitamins, protein and carbohydrates is key when wild camping. Usually, securing the most idyllic spots is accompanied by walking and/or hiking, so to keep energy levels up we’d recommend planning meals to maximise their impact.

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Here are a few helpful camping favourites:

Staying hydrated is crucial but if you need an extra boost try adding electrolyte power or shots!

Dehydrated and freeze-dried camping food packs
These are space saving meals which are also easy to prepare.

Couscous, pasta, noodle dishes
Easy to prepare and a stable addition to bulk your meal.

Small tins
Tuna, corned beef etc. something that isn’t going to take up too much room in your bag.

Requiring minimal cooking efforts and providing maximum slow-release energy, porridge is a must when camping.

Dried fruits and nuts
Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fruit & nuts are a quick and convenient snack to pack.

Powdered milk
It offers convenience, a long shelf life, and nutritional value, making it a reliable substitute for liquid milk while enjoying the great outdoors.

Protein Flapjacks
Similar to porridge, oat-filled flapjacks provide a slow-release energy that is perfect when exploring the outdoors, not to mention that they are delicious, especially Trek’s Protein Flapjack bars!

Protein bars
We’d recommend the TREK protein bar ranges, as they all use carefully selected ingredients straight from nature to give you the perfect balance of taste, health and energy! These protein bars are made of 100% plant-based ingredients, are gluten-free, and contain NO artificial nasties or sweeteners! Making them the perfect camping companion and snack on the go. Find out more at

Be mindful of how heavy your food stock is, remember you’ll be carrying ALL the weight.

Fancy a walk on the wild side?

The beauty of wild camping is being at one with nature and embracing the scenery around. The UK has some of the most epic and stunning scenery there is to offer and is the perfect backdrop to start your adventures. Whether you're a hiker, kayaker, rock climber, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in nature, wild camping accompanies it all.

Once you have your location locked in and your activities planned it’s time to stock up on all the essentials…want to get your hands on Decathlon vouchers to cover everything you’ll need for your camping experience? Firstly, cover off your on-the-go energy needs and grab a pack of your favourite plant-based TREK Protein Bars... then all you have to do is enter your promotional pack’s unique code online, giving you the chance to win up to £500 Decathlon vouchers to cover all the essentials – and more!

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Pack your bags, plan your route and make memories wild camping in the great outdoors!

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